Bless this house

Emotional fractals

That image above is an online art project called the “Emotional Fractal”. It’s a little Flash application that picks words randomly from the dictionary and displays them in a recursive format, with words interlaced between others in progressively smaller and smaller sizes. When the words get too small, you can zoom in and find even tinier words nested between the tiny ones. (Click here and you can see it in action!) It’s produced by the artist Jared Tarbell, and Lonnie Foster describes it nicely on his blog Tribblescape:

I could reload the page for hours on end as it generates random bits and bobs of juxtaposed adjectives. It’s a lot like magnetic poetry, only instead of placing the words one at a time, you scoop together the entire set of magnets and throw it at the refrigerator.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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